More than any other genre of film, the horror genre is one that is almost completely run by the fans. I suppose the same can be said for any form of entertainment, but the horror community is special in that we’re literally the lifeblood of the entire genre. Along with great power comes great responsibility, as a wise man once said, and there is indeed a lot of responsibility that comes along with being a horror fan.
It’s not just fans who are making most of the movies we consume but it’s also us fans who are in charge of supporting them and ensuring that those filmmakers get to continue entertaining for years to come. And though many fans unfortunately spend their time spreading negativity throughout the community, the good ones understand how crucial we are to the future of the genre we hold near and dear.
The power to make the horror genre a better place is genuinely in our hands, and the good news is that it’s incredibly simple to do your part and keep it moving forward – even if you’re not contributing directly to it, as a filmmaker. So without further adieu, here are three ways to be the best horror fan you can possibly be – they’re all no-brainers, but sometimes the obvious needs to be hammered home.
1) WATCH NEW HORROR MOVIES
If you’re rolling your eyes right now, I completely understand. Telling horror fans to watch horror movies likely sounds like a ridiculously unnecessary piece of advice, but as someone who has spent the past decade completely immersed in the horror community, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend that seems to go against the very idea of being a horror fan: many horror fans don’t watch new horror movies.
The horror community, like most fan communities these days, is very much driven by nostalgia, to the point that many fans are simply unable to accept that the past is in the past. There’s of course nothing wrong with revisiting childhood favorites and holding on for dear life to classic movies that you deeply love, but the horror genre only moves forward when us fans allow it to. And we must allow it to.
There’s a certain level of safety that comes along with sticking to the classics, as we know going in that our 90 minutes won’t be wasted, but we need to spend as much time – if not MORE – giving up and coming filmmakers the chance to introduce us to new favorites. As horror fans, we need to continually consume new horror movies, as well as collectively shed our strange aversion to things shiny and new.
And the way we consume those new movies is just as important.
2) PAY FOR NEW HORROR MOVIES
There’s nothing worse you can do, as a fan, than pirate new movies you want to see, as doing so equates to literally taking money out of the pockets of filmmakers who have made it their life’s work to keep us entertained. Unfortunately, this is something that many horror fans don’t and will never understand, but make no mistake, the damaging effects of piracy are being felt BIG TIME within the world of horror.
If illegally downloading horror movies is the worst thing you can do, then the best thing you can do is pay to rent/purchase them. Filmmaking is a money-driven business, whether anyone likes it or not, and the single most important thing for us fans to do is to support what we love with our hard-earned dollars. This includes not just staying away from torrent sites, but also embracing the idea of spending money.
I can’t tell you how often I hear things like “I’ll just wait for it to hit Netflix,” and though there’s nothing wrong with that, the truth is that filmmakers see very little money from Netflix deals – typically much less than DVD/Blu-ray purchases and VOD rentals. We of course all pay for Netflix, but it’s important that we’re also eager to pay directly for horror films, rather than wait until they hit the service.
At just $3.99 for most VOD rentals, it’s currently cheaper than ever to financially support the horror genre, so try to keep in mind that movies exist – and need your support – prior to showing up on Netflix. And when you rent a movie that you end up really enjoying, why not grab the DVD/Blu-ray and really show the distributor how much you loved it? Money is tight for all of us, but damn does it feel good to be a supportive fan.
3) TALK ABOUT NEW HORROR MOVIES
Supporting the horror genre doesn’t just mean shelling out money, but also using your voice and keyboard to spread the word about movies you’ve seen. Whether you’re a critic for a film website, run your own blog, or even just have a Twitter account, spreading the good word about new horror movies you love has never been easier, as you’re able to reach thousands of fans with the click of a button.
The most frustrating thing about the horror community is that so many “fans” use that incredible power to spread nothing but hate and negativity, but you can combat that by using your outlets/social media accounts to spread quite the opposite. When you see a horror movie you hate, post a tweet or review and be done with it. But when you see one you love, make sure EVERYONE knows about it.
Please don’t ever underestimate how important it is to tell people about new horror movies they may not be aware of, and don’t trick yourself into thinking your voice doesn’t matter because you have a minimal amount of followers. Your positive tweet about a new horror movie you stumbled across could lead to one of those followers watching it, which may very well lead to hundreds more following suit.
Want the horror genre to thrive for many years to come? If we all follow these three simple guidelines, I can promise you that it will. Because the power, it’s well worth repeating, is in OUR hands.
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